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Presentation Training: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Voice 1

We’ve called upon our resident body language expert, Sharon Merrill EVP and Partner David Calusdian, to teach us to become better speakers – whether at meetings, investor conferences or in more personal settings. This four-part conversation provides a taste of the good, and bad, habits of executive presenters, with a few tips for improvement along the way. Today’s post is Part III in the series.

The Podium: As always, thanks again for joining us, David. We’ve had a highly informative series thus far. Today, we’d like to talk about voice. Let’s start from the beginning.

DC: First, I always tell people to speak loudly, clearly and use vocal variety. That may sound obvious, but most speakers aren’t aware that they are being monotone or are not annunciating until they see and hear themselves on video. On a related note, a common voice problem people have is that they drop off their voices at the ends of sentences. They speak loudly for a period, and then suddenly fall off.

The extreme version of the trailing voice is “vocal fry” – a raspy sound you make when you run out of breath, as if you were fighting to get the air to finish each sentence. Either way, your message loses its impact. And without that, there’s really no point.

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Sharon Merrill Associates Expresses Condolences for those Affected by the Tragedy at the Boston Marathon

Boston StrongThe team at Sharon Merrill offers our deepest sympathies to all who have been touched by the attack at the Boston Marathon.  Boston is our home, and we are profoundly saddened by the tragic loss of life and the grave injuries sustained as a result of these events.  As we grieve, we also remember with great pride and utmost respect the heroes who courageously risked their own lives to help others amidst the chaos in the aftermath of the explosions.  We also thank the public safety personnel who vigilantly work to protect our city and its people every second of every day.  The outpouring of support for our great city has been awe inspiring, and we are humbled by those citizens of other cities throughout our nation and around the world who are in solidarity with Boston during this challenging time.

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What’s In/What’s Out for Investor Relations in 2013

By Jim Buckley
We have once again laid out a tongue-in-cheek roadmap of what’s in and what’s out in investor relations, and more, for the upcoming year.   Hope you enjoy, and have a happy and successful 2013.

What’s In What’s Out
Crowdfunding Bootstrapping
LiveStrong Lance Armstrong
IntercontinentalExchange Deutsche Börse
Debt ceiling Glass ceiling
Cliff Clavin The Fiscal Cliff
Compensation lawsuits  Overpaid CEOs
Middle Earth The Middle class
Google Maps Apple Maps
Shareholder activism Rubber stamp boards
Greek Yogurt Greek Financial Crisis
IR Calendars The Mayan Calendar
Downton Abbey Abby Lee (Dance Moms)
SEC enforcement Insider trading
Non-deal road shows in Asia Gangnam style
Shareholder engagement “Vote with the Board’s Recommendation” button
IR apps Snail mail
Veep Political ads
Investor Days  Small group meetings
Reshoring Unemployment
Bulls Bears
Boston roadshows New York City
Risk management Natural disasters
The Lone Ranger Underwater loans
Board diversity Staggered boards
Fruit Ninja Angry Birds
Capital expenditures The Sequester
Investor Relations Around the Web Gathering IR news yourself


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Happy Holidays!

On behalf of the entire Sharon Merrill Associates team, I would like to wish all of The Podium’s readers a happy holiday season!  Thank you for supporting our blog.

We look forward to continuing our regular posting schedule in 2010.

Warmest regards,

Sharon Merrill
Chairman & CEO

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Crisis Communications: How to Best Prepare for those “Uh-Oh!” Moments

Recently, I served on a panel at the Publicity Club of New England’s “An Inside Look at Crisis Communications” program, along with other corporate and crisis communications veterans from the Boston area.  We each shared some of our most memorable cases including events involving government funding cuts, infant product recalls, massive layoffs, insider trading, embezzlement, and my favorite of the evening – the potential euthanasia of all the animals at two state-run zoos.

While the cases ran the gamut of companies private and public, from small start-ups to large multinationals, in industries from consumer goods and high tech to pharmaceuticals and law firms, there were some consistent themes that arose from the discussion.  Continue reading

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